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ABOR approves NAU presidential search guidelines

ABOR approves NAU presidential search guidelines

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Cheng in the Homecoming Parade

Northern Arizona University president Rita Cheng is driven along the route of the 2019 Homecoming parade in this October 2019 photo.

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved the guidelines for the search for Northern Arizona University’s next president.

President Rita Cheng announced in September she will not seek an extension to her contract as NAU president.

According to the guidelines, the advisory committee is tasked with determining the leadership characteristics desired in the next president, and identifying and recruiting a diverse pool of qualified applicants. The committee is currently searching for a search consultant to assist in this process.

In an ABOR meeting Friday, Regent Lyndel Manson, co-chair of the search committee, said the goal is to schedule the first meeting with the committee and consultant by Oct. 30.

“Northern Arizona University is a vital institution with roots that predate statehood. We take seriously our responsibility -- as advisory committee co-chairs and as regents -- to conduct a thorough and thoughtful leadership search to ensure NAU and its future are in the best possible hands,” Manson said in a news release.

The board will review the prospects forwarded by the advisory committee. Finalists may be invited to the NAU campus to meet with students, faculty, community members and other constituencies. After the conclusion of the search, the board will vote in a public meeting to appoint NAU’s new president and enter into employment contract negotiations.

Information on potential candidates will remain confidential until they agree to participate in an interview with the full board -- which may require public disclosure of the candidate’s identity and curriculum vitae or resume in accordance with Arizona public records laws.

“The Arizona Board of Regents is committed to a comprehensive, transparent search process for the role of NAU president,” Regent Fred DuVal, committee co-chair, said in a news release. “This is a unique institution that we are confident will attract significant interest. Given the challenges that confront NAU and all universities, it is critical that the advisory committee identify a charismatic, innovative leader with the right vision for this institution.”

Individuals are encouraged to submit their thoughts on the presidential search to


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